Three quick ways to (1) Prepare, (2) Present, and (3) Polish your informed consent form.
- Follow the American Psychological Association (APA) guide for formatting.
- Leave white space between paragraphs.
- Keep the sentences as short and simple as possible.
- Use bullet points, or numbered lists to break up long lists of text.
- Bold paragraph headers to make the consent form easier to read and understand.
- Include the institution’s name, address, and phone number as the document header.
- Write in the second person using “you/your” pronouns.
- Introduce the study to participants using common, ordinary language instead of technical, academic terms. A good rule of thumb is writing consent forms for an 8th grade reading level.
- Avoid jargon and do not use unnecessary complicated phrasing.
- Spellcheck the entire document.
- Ask someone else to read the consent form or at least read it out loud word-for-word.
Make a good first impression with your consent form!